Zachi Telesha , a 12-year-old comics writer, lost his four and a half year battle to cancer this week .
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 7, Zachi served an extraordinary young hero in his home of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
In 2012, he published his graphic novel, Hero Up! , through Rodale , a corporate sponsor of McKinley Elementary School , that learned of his illness and his desire to write a comic.
The publication features four superheroes including Venom Transporter , a character based on himself. “He can get bit by the most poisonous snake and spider at the same time repeatedly and still just get stronger,” Zachi explained.
The project took five months of working with Rodale staffers and teachers from his school. 30 hardcover and 1,000 softcover editions were printed, and every Allentown public school library has a copy. A sequel was rumored to be in progress.
As if cancer isn’t enough, in 2009 his biological father beat his mother to death with a baseball bat. Zachi was placed in foster care and adopted in 2011.
The inspirational author has a hallway at his school named after him, and his fellow students wear “Z” T-shirts in his honor.
“What he left us was more of a legacy than probably the richest man in Allentown,” said his science teacher, John Annoni .
Watch Zachi tell his story and talk about his novel below (have tissue ready). R.I.P.
[spotted via Jay Reed]